Tuesday, I was on Twitter, just like many NFL addicts and trying to make heads and tails of the various ongoing free agency moves. In that vein of thought, around 5:40 pm MDT Tuesday, I found on my Twitter timeline that former Dixie State tight end Joe Don Duncan, an imposing physical specimen, had been signed by the Denver Broncos.
The 6-foot-3, 268 pound Corona, Calif., native has the same alma mater as many of my family members. While playing for the Division II Red Storm in 2013, he netted 71 catches for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns and from the footage I have seen of him, he appears to be a Frank Wycheck clone.
Now, for NFL fans who are at least in their late 20s and are lifers, I would suspect that they remember Wycheck, who starred for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1995-2003, after being released by Norv Turner from the Washington Redskins in 1994, having been drafted by the franchise in 1993 from nearby Maryland.
Wycheck, who was also known as an “H-back,” or “Joker,” the same designations that have been placed upon Duncan by various NFL scouting reports, had 505 catches for 5,126 yards and 28 scores and is perhaps best known as the impetus of the 1999 Music City Miracle.
Are similar things in store for Duncan, should the Broncos be a sure fit for his skills? It's hard to say at this point and for all we know he will be mere camp fodder come August. With that said, it doesn't seem likely that Denver Broncos General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway would do anything on a mere whim.
Such a notion completely belies all of his moves up to this point in his current position. Duncan has received some glowing words from wise NFL draftniks. I have heard some deride Duncan's credentials as a Division II school product but this, in my opinion, is unwise, because many Division II alums have found their way onto NFL rosters and achieved highly in this day and age.
Among them are New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans, San Diego Chargers tailback Danny Woodhead and Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker--one of my favorite players in the NFL regardless of position or team incidentally.
In any case, Duncan will have a chance to make the team and as training camp and the preseason commence, it should be fascinating to see where his narrative leads.
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